As chief legal officers of their states, attorneys general have numerous responsibilities during emergency situations and face many challenges before, during, and after disasters.

Whether responding to mass shootings, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, cyberattacks, or any other emergency, attorneys general are regularly called upon to react in the heat of the chaotic moment, managing the many crises caused by nature’s power or human’s action. Preparedness is critical to increasing the efficiency and the effectiveness of response and safety.

From mass shootings and civil unrest to accidental spills or structure collapses, attorney general offices play many critical roles in response to manmade disasters, including:

  • Consumer protection
  • Victim services
  • Communications
  • Continuity of critical operations
  • Coordination with local, state, and federal partners

Explore the role of attorneys general in disaster preparedness and response.

Legal Issues

As the chief legal officer of their state, attorneys general must be prepared to address and advise on a variety of legal issues before, during, and after an emergency or natural disaster.

Learn more about the legal issues attorneys general address during and after disasters.

These critical legal areas include:

  • Emergency Powers
  • Searches
  • Evacuation: Liability, Federal Assistance
  • Police Powers: Detention, Curfew
  • State-Federal Relations
  • Consumer Protection
  • Charities

Disaster Preparedness and Response Publications

Responding to Mass Violence Incidents: A Checklist for State and Territory Attorneys General

Following the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Music Festival shooting in Las Vegas, NAAG mobilized to develop a concise checklist for attorneys general offices to use as a guide when preparing for and responding to an incident of mass violence.

Mass Violence book cover image
  • Disaster Preparedness & Response

Mass Violence Response Checklist

Learn More →

Disaster Preparedness Manual and Resource Guide for State Attorneys General

Published in December 2019, the third edition of Disaster Preparedness Manual and Resource Guide for State Attorneys General is specifically designed to assist the state attorney general community in preparing for disasters of all kinds. It includes lessons learned from attorney general offices, summaries of key legal issues, a prepared disaster checklist, and templates and examples that can serve as useful guides.

View additional resources for attorneys general.

Courses and Trainings

Mass Violence
  • Disaster Preparedness & Response

Combatting Mass Violence

On-Demand
Learn More →

Policy Letters

  • Criminal Law
  • Disaster Preparedness & Response
  • Family Law / Domestic Violence
  • Victim Assistance

NAAG Supports Funding for Legal Services Corporation (LSC)

LSC funding has also fostered public-private partnerships between legal aid
organizations and private firms and attorneys across the country which donate their
time and skills to assist residents in need. Nationwide, 132 independent nonprofit
legal aid programs rely on this federal funding to provide services to nearly two
million of our constituents on an annual basis.

Learn More →
  • Disaster Preparedness & Response

NAAG Endorses EAGLES Act

No one person or entity can achieve these goals alone. Preventing targeted violence demands a multi-faceted approach toward a solution and calls for coordination among law enforcement officials, lawmakers, educators, parents and students, and community members. Moreover, reducing targeted violence in our schools requires partnership between state and federal agencies – precisely the type of collaboration contemplated by the EAGLES Act.

Learn More →
  • Disaster Preparedness & Response
  • Extremism and Hate Crimes

NAAG Sends Letter to USDOJ Condemning January 6 Violence at U.S. Capitol

We all just witnessed a very dark day in America. The events of January 6 represent a direct, physical challenge to the rule of law and our democratic republic itself. Together, we will continue to do our part to repair the damage done to institutions and build a more perfect union. As Americans, and those charged with enforcing the law, we must come together to condemn lawless violence, making clear that such actions will not be allowed to go unchecked.

Learn More →

Relevant Articles